Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Taking Back Control

I'm so indecisive sometimes that I find it difficult to even get a blog started. Seriously, it'd be nice if I could decide whether or not I wanted to pee without it being a 30 minute internal debate.

Those are the struggles that typical Lealah goes through. Here lately though, I'm trying to not be so typical. I'm trying to not worry about every little thing and stress over stuff outside of my control. I'm actually making progress... hopefully. I'm trying a different tactic, instead of obsessing over and controlling one facet of my life, I'm lessening the choke-hold and spreading attention to where it's actually needed. This helps me to not entertain those obsessions and allows me to practice more control overall. Once I get in an obsessive mindset, I find myself over analyzing every little thing in my life.

For example, typical Lealah would drop and change everything to spend hours at the gym, doing only the workouts where I would see immediate results, eating <1100 calories a day... the list goes on. The difference now is that I'm actually self-aware enough to know that is not what I need just yet. Not only is my body sending me signals by letting me know that I'm tired, but I realize that I'm currently in a place in my life where I need to tend to myself in other ways.

The past couple months, I've been active nearly every day. I try to walk, do yoga, or both daily. I've missed a handful of days probably. I'd have much better/quicker results doing Body Pump, Zumba, and running, but I'm not willing to sacrifice my yoga, writing, or meditation time to spend hours at the gym right now. Not to mention the various hobbies I dip into from time to time. I realize that I've ignored myself emotionally and spiritually for many years. It's time to make permanent change - losing a bunch of weight won't change me permanently, it didn't before. It definitely helps, having a little confidence and self-esteem changed many aspects of my life. But now it's time to grow past that even. I'll be glad to get back to a smaller size, but that isn't the end goal. The end goal is to be happier and healthier overall. It is happening. I notice change here and there that remind me of thin Lealah and give me deja vu of the weight loss process. I drink green smoothies 5-6 times a week for breakfast or brunch, I've been drinking probiotics either in Karma water or kombucha daily, and I'm not doing nearly as poorly as I had been at other meals. I've also been trying to drink more water and stay hydrated. I feel better overall, but I cannot seem to get past being tired the majority of the time.
Breakfast of champions!

Zen room at the place I float at.

I take long walks by the lake, do yoga, meditate, write, listen to music, go floating... read. I went to the doctor the other day for the first time in over 2 years, and I even went to the optometrist! Apparently my eyesight has gotten better and I bought new contacts, so I'd consider it a successful visit. I never stopped going to the dentist because I had braces on when my brother passed, and I guess spending that kind of money on my mouth motivated me to maintain basic dental hygiene. I'm still going to the chiropractor, trying to get my spine to cooperate. These are the kinds of things that I mean by tending to myself. Valuing myself enough to do basic maintenance and to enjoy my hobbies.
Bella takes me for walks.

I'm also attempting to challenge myself by getting out of my bubble. So, I may as well clarify in case there were readers wondering due to my vagueness on the topic - I am indeed single now. Our lives were just going in separate directions. With that said, I have really stepped outside my comfort zone by starting to date for the first time in a really long time. I started off really awkward, but I believe I'm starting to get the hang of it. I'm not sure I care for it, to be honest. I'm not looking for a serious relationship right now anyways, but I thought it would be interesting to put myself out there a bit and see if someone cool came along. Really, sometimes it's just nice to meet someone new. I've got way too much on my plate to make someone else my life right now. From what I've seen, it's hard to find someone that will chill and let you be chill with no BS. Cool people do exist, though, it is indeed a strange new world.

I've been meeting new people aside from the dating scene, too. The weekend before last I went to a spiritual self-help type session at a bookstore in Tulsa where I met some new people that seem to be more on my wavelength. Then I went to a fair here in OKC last weekend about similar topics and met more new people. I'm actually going to Tulsa this weekend for a session involving someone I met in OKC. It's exciting meeting people that you can talk to about topics that most people aren't interested in. Contrarily, I'm learning to really enjoy my alone time, too. When I went to Tulsa, I made a day of it and had a fabulous trip: I blasted my music there and back; did my own thing, in my own time at the bookstore; grabbed dinner at my favorite Tulsa restaurant; enjoyed a quiet, peaceful meal while I took my time and got some really good writing in; and then stopped at Starship Records and browsed for the perfect amount of time for me. Starship is this really cool novelty shop that has all sorts of neat stuff. My bounty for the trip was some very lovely incense and this sweet poster:
Find me in Wonderland bitches!

Win from my last Tulsa trip.
I've also learned that I actually really enjoy going to shows on my own... If I'm surrounded by strangers, it's a lot easier to cut loose and jam out; who cares what they think!? And then I can leave whenever I'm ready to, whether it's halfway through the show or after the 6th encore. And no screaming to your companion/s over the music! To be honest, I may not have tried going to a show by myself if I didn't find it a consistent problem finding friends that a.) don't have to worry about babysitters, b.) don't worry about their significant others being alone, c.) are actually interested in the band, or d.) don't have plans. I have few friends that ever fall in the e.) all of the above category. I imagine if I wasn't a last minute kind of gal, some of those conditions probably wouldn't be as big of an issue... but I tend to not know what I want to do until it's time to do it. Anyhoo, I've attended a few shows on my own now and I've really enjoyed myself. I've got a bunch of shows coming up the next few months that I need to pilfer through and decide which ones I want to go to, but I shalt not limit myself due to fear of going alone! In fact, I'm in the pre-planning stages of another weekend road trip to somewhere beautiful where I can hike and meditate. I'm getting to the point where I'd rather be alone than humor people. If you can't appreciate me as I am and enjoy my company, well then why should I bother expending energy? I just realized how contradictory it is to say that two new things I've really been enjoying are meeting new people and being alone... LOL! It's so true, though! So there's my update! I don't know if my process is helpful for anyone, but I thought I'd share. I'm doing well aside from the tiredness, still get in my emotional funks from time to time, but overall - getting better. Much love all!

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Face Your Fears - Pic Heavy!

I ended my last blog with a note about facing your fears. Let me clarify, I do not mean you should hope for yourself to be in a terrible situation so you can be fearless. That's insane, a bit morbid, and doesn't exactly work that way. Ha! What I meant was that we should embrace new situations, find how subtle fears affect us and find ways to address them.

I've actually had numerous opportunities the last few months to do exactly that. I've put myself in a position where I'm having to stand on my own two feet without emotional crutches or comfort blankets. I'm living on my own again (per se - I do have a roommate). I've started a new job after being at the same agency for 9.5 years! (This was absolutely terrifying by the way!)
Almost a decade of my life memorialized!
What I see on my first day as a PM...

I'm putting myself out there, trying to meet new people, form new connections. I've taken solo weekend trips, I've gone on road trips with friends, I'm seeking the world and new experiences.

A few pics from my Cali road trip with one of my bestest buds:

A soul expanding solo hiking trip in Arkansas:
127 Hours anyone?

Mid-hike perch view.

Evening View

Those trails tho.

A winged beast.

Road-tripping across North Carolina was f'in amazing:

Best friends since 6th grade!

I'm definitely a water sign...

The water was SO warm on the Outer Banks!
I've bought a house, because, uh, I guess that's the grown up thing to do? Just kidding, I know it's a good tactic, it's all about investment in today's world. Some people would say these are all fabulous things and sounds like I should be on Cloud 9 and this is absolutely true! However, being human and taking all these leaps when life has felt stagnant for 2 years... it's pretty scary. It takes realizing that you've identified yourself with everything that you've surrounded yourself with for 30+ years and letting that go, to not just toe the line of your comfort zone but to shatter that comfort zone. Ultimately, the goal is to have no comfort zone. To find comfort in just being.

Yoga and meditation have fallen to the side a little bit the last couple of weeks, which is just awful because I really could have saved myself some self-inflicted grief if I'd been practicing. With closing on my house and starting a new job within a couple weeks of each other, I kinda freaked out and got stuck in my head for a bit. It took a moment this past week where I spiraled into myself to get back to meditating and Yoga. A moment of clarity and a conversation with a friend reminded me that all the conflict in my life is created in my head. I mean sure, someone could physically harm me, and I would suffer because of it, but the intensity of my suffering is all dependent upon my reactions. There's a sense of comfort in this.

During my two year shut-in on myself, I stopped caring about not only myself, but other people. I think I've written about this before, but grief is the most selfish emotion I've ever experienced. Now that I'm waking up from that nightmare, I find myself caring more than I did before my brother's death. This is scary, too, because I've always associated caring with vulnerability. But wouldn't it be a beautiful thing if you could care more about people and the world without losing yourself, your core, your love in the process? I find myself fascinated with people, fascinated with their quirks, their talents, their idiosyncrasies, their motivations, their humor. God, I love laughing. I'm not 100% certain, but I believe this intensity can be intimidating. I wouldn't be surprised if my openness and bluntness freaks people out, too. What's the point in trying to hide or protect yourself though? Why can't we all let these walls down and show who we are? There's  nothing to be ashamed of, whatever you've buried deep inside.... someone else has been there. In fact, it's likely we've all been there, we're just too scared to admit it. Maybe it's fear of admitting it to ourselves?

What I'm learning the most though, is that it's not necessarily just about having all the experiences, it's about who you have them with. I value my lone experiences tremendously, because who better to enjoy time with than myself? But I so love my people, my soul tribe, my crew, so to speak. I value the people that are a speck on my lifetime, the ones that stay, the ones that leave, the ones consistent to the eras, the ones that come and go through time... every person, every encounter is invaluable and has had a part in shaping me to be who I am. I am grateful for all of it, there IS a lesson in everything. Course there are the peeps whom I'm so connected to that we're never apart and these guys..... There are no words.